Pretty sure it is a yellow crab spider
This little spider has caught a bumble bee a day in my lavender.
That sounds like part of a children’s song. It is Misumena vatia, a Goldenrod Crab Spider. They can also be white with pink stripes. This is the first time I’ve seen that the marking on the face below the eyes matches the side stripes in the yellow coloration. It looks like the spider is making a creepy smile. The spider usually puts fangs into the other end of the bee. There are a couple of little flying insects on the bee’s head taking advantage of the situation too.
Is he/her rare? I have never seen one in our yard and we have been here 20 years.
No. These are more often white. Their hunting is based on camouflage, you and insects aren’t supposed to see them. They go to plants that have shapes and colors that are similar to their bodies. They are shaped like petals and small leaves. They pose their legs to match the linear flow of the setting. Lavender is an unusual choice, but it seems like the insects care more about the nectar than the big yellow thing sitting on it. Some Crab Spiders manipulate UV light to reflection on them to fool nocturnal insects also. That might be what the white… Read more »
Thanks for the information!